Displayed across three floors of the gallery, each of the artists are exhibited within their own distinct floor, providing viewers a chance to engage with their work on an individual level while a wider dialogue unfolds between them throughout the space as a whole. Through the shapeshifting paintings of Bridget Mullen, hybrid sculptures by Laurence Owen and Vanessa da Silva’s morphing installation; the exhibition reflects on and explores the action of changing state, the notion of ‘becoming other’, a subject that pervades and prevails within each of their practices.
Dancing back and forth across the threshold between abstraction and figuration, Bridget Mullen creates mutable, liminal spaces in which half-formed shapes and figures whirl in a constant state of emerging or dissolving. The steady hum of repetition present in each of the five paintings feels like a mirage, hypnotizing us with the illusion of momentum whilst frozen in a moment. Her forms are at once strange and familiar, but always about to morph into something else. Rather than presenting the viewer with a narrative or fleshed out idea, Mullen suggests a workable space that feels as if it’s still coming into being and requires your standing before it to complete it.
Operating as enigmatic and mysterious objects, Laurence Owen’s wall-based multi-media sculptures draw on phenomenological ideas and experiences from urban and natural environments. Incorporating a range of approaches including sculpture, painting and ceramics, Owen’s hybridized compositions fold inside and outside of themselves, offering through materialistic metaphor, wider socio-political ideas around territory and border. By shifting and merging these concepts to create alternative definitions and reframe their commonly understood meanings, Owen hints at notions of these systems operating behind our daily existence. Throughout his work, a collapse between past and present occurs; futurist scenarios appear to simulate and flow into established aesthetics as an equally speculative – science fictional – realm.
Traversing the intersection between the human body and nature, Vanessa da Silva presents an expansive installation comprised of a new series of sculptures. Neither human nor part of nature, these ‘unrooted bodies’ are hybrids in a constant state of mutation, metamorphosing into something still unknown. Projecting up from a platform of glass windows, these forms of varying size punctuate the space like stalagmites and challenge perceived orientations through their reflections––alluding to the uprootedness of the present moment in which systems, institutions and ‘truths’ are caving in. The organic irregularity of these smooth white structures recalls the boned architecture of our bodies, yet they hint at something altogether different and like the external structures around us are subject to collapse.
Bridget Mullen (b. 1976, Minnesota, USA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She holds an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and has been awarded residencies at The Jan Van Eyck Academie, MacDowell, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Fine Arts Work Center, The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, and Yaddo among others. Recent solo exhibitions include Threshold Blues, Helena Anrather, New York, USA (2019) and Forgettable Sunsets, Annet Gelink, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2018). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including shows at Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York, USA (2020); Wild Palms, Düsseldorf, Germany (2019); Fahrenheit Madrid, Madrid, Spain (2019); DC Moore, New York, USA (2018); and L21, Mallorca, Spain (2017). Her work is in the collections of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art in Roswell, USA.
Laurence Owen (b. 1984, Gloucester, UK) lives and works in London, UK. He completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at Royal Academy Schools, London, UK in 2015, and holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Falmouth College of Art, Cornwall, UK. Solo exhibitions include GERUND, Zabludowicz Collection and Lychee One, London, UK (2020); LOOT, Galerie PCP, Paris, France (2018) and Channel Synthesis, Evelyn Yard Gallery, London, UK (2016). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Mushrooms: The art, design and future of fungi, Somerset House, London, UK (2020); Drawing Biennial, The Drawing Rooms, London, UK (2019); Moly Sabata, Art O Rama, Marseille, France (2018), Something Else, Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia (2018); Absent Bodies, OSL Contemporary, Oslo, Norway (2017) and John Moores Painting Prize, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK (2016).
Vanessa da Silva (b. 1976, São Paulo, Brazil) lives and works in London, UK. She holds an MA Painting from the Royal College of Art, London, UK and a BFA in Product Design from FAAP, São Paulo, Brazil. In 2020, she received The Hopper Prize, USA and in 2019 the Gilbert Bayes Award from the Royal Society of Sculptors, London, UK. She has been awarded residences at FAAP, São Paulo, Brazil (2020), Pivô Research, São Paulo, Brazil (2019) and Ox-Bow, Michigan, USA (2017). Recent solo exhibitions include Vertical Zen, Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland (2019) and Muamba Grove, Galeria Duarte Sequeira, Braga, Portugal (2019). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Four Flags, Galeria Jaqueline Martins, São Paulo, Brazil & CIAP Kunstverein, Genk, Belgium & La Loge, Brussels, Belgium (2020); Salón Acme, Mexico City (2020), Antifascismo Tropical, curated by Pablo León de la Barra, White Cubicle, London, UK (2019).